If the project budget consistently exceeds all estimates and it seems like you're overpaying for the software development, based on our experience, issues may arise from:

  • poorly defined requirements and lack of a clear development plan
  • Improper task prioritization or ineffective team management
  • poor testing and architecture design

Now let's talk about each of these problems in more detail.


Requirements are like the building blocks of any project. They're essential for guiding development. But just having them isn't a guarantee that everything will go smoothly. If the requirements are weak – not detailed enough or poorly thought out – it can cause a lot of headaches throughout the project.

Here are some problems that can pop up if the requirements are weak:
  • Developers end up spending extra time on tasks that should've been done quicker.
  • Testers often find issues with the work done by developers, leading to tasks being reopened.
  • Even if tasks pass testing, the customer might still be unhappy and ask for changes, because the implemented functionality does not meet their expectations.
How to fix: 

If you haven't started development yet, spend more time ironing out the requirements. But if you're already knee-deep in development and the requirements aren't great, it's time for a revision.

Start by getting a detailed description of the requirements, including user stories and all possible edge cases. Describe the acceptance criteria, so everyone knows when a task is done right. Then, update the wireframe or create one if you haven't already.

Only once these steps are completed and tested should you pass the requirements to the developer. With clearer requirements, the developer is more likely to get it right the first time and give a more accurate estimate.

Development Plan

A development plan is crucial for steering a project in the right direction. Without one, you're navigating blindly, which can lead to a host of problems.

Here's what can go wrong without a proper development plan:
  • Tasks might be done in the wrong order, causing unnecessary delays or rework when requirements change.
  • Downtime can occur due to missing features, incomplete designs, developer vacation, or unpreparedness of the server part, when the user interface has to be made.
  • Deadlines may be missed, or worse, the project's completion date may become uncertain.
How to fix: 

Create a detailed development plan that outlines each project milestone. This is a task for the project manager, who considers the team's workload and whether any additional resources are needed. With a development plan in place, team members can take vacations without disrupting the process.

Moreover, a development plan allows for early detection of deviations from the original timeline. If a task is supposed to take two weeks but isn't completed on time, adjustments can be made promptly.

Furthermore, the development plan keeps both the customer and the team updated on the project's progress, boosting morale and ensuring everyone stays on the same page.

Change Management

In any project, it's common for customers to request new features along the way. However, the project manager must assess these requests critically and filter them if necessary.

Problems that can arise if this is not done:
  • If the manager blindly accepts every customer request without updating the development and estimation plan, it can lead to chaos
How to fix: 

When a customer proposes a new feature, the project manager should first determine its necessity and estimate the time required for implementation. If the feature is deemed necessary, its priority needs clarification: should it be developed immediately or postponed to a future version?

For high-priority tasks, the project manager should update all relevant requirements, including user stories and edge cases. Testers should then assess the changes, and developers should estimate the new functionality's development time.

Once all this is done, the project manager informs the customer about the changes: how long it will take to develop the feature, how much the budget will increase, and any changes to release or demo dates. Only after the customer approves these changes does the task enter the development plan.

If the project already has a change management process in place, adding new features shouldn't be a problem. However, if tasks keep piling up without updates to the development plan and estimates, it's time to implement a stricter process. This involves informing the client about cost and schedule changes after each change request, helping to prioritize and weed out unnecessary tasks.

Selecting developers and their management

Selecting developers for a project and managing them is both an art and a science. It's not just about assembling a team of highly experienced developers; it's about finding the right mix of skills and experience for the specific project at hand.

Here's why choosing the right developers matters:
  • Improper team composition can lead to more bugs and rework, doubling both time and costs.
  • Deadlines may be missed, even if the project miraculously avoids bugs.
  • Qualification mismatches can arise if developers lack relevant experience.
How to fix: 

Bring in an experienced developer as a consultant. They won't be part of the development team but will provide valuable insights through code reviews, monitoring project architecture, and advising on technology choices. They can also identify performance and efficiency issues and suggest solutions.

Implement a mentoring system like we did. For each new employee, we assign a mentor who not only helps them adapt to workflows but also assesses initial technical skills and proposes a development plan for the newcomer. Mentors play a crucial role in deciding which projects suit each team member best, leveraging their knowledge of strengths and weaknesses.

Optimize the selection process. Stricter selection minimizes the chances of unqualified employees joining the project, minimizing potential problems down the line.


Prioritizing features is crucial for any project, regardless of budget size. Even with an unlimited budget, misplaced priorities can cause significant problems.

Problems due to wrong priorities:
  • If tasks aren't prioritized correctly, the team might spend time on less important details, delaying crucial features: instead of finishing the user registration, developers are aligning text and changing the shape of buttons.
  • The core feature, which sets the project apart, might not be ready for the planned release.
How to fix: 

Ensure the team understands the business goals and focuses on tasks that contribute directly to them. If necessary, implement a prioritization system to guide their efforts. We have long used priorities, which we divide into four types:

  • Priority 1 - essential requirements without which the product can't launch
  • Priority 2 - features that significantly enhance the product but aren't critical
  • Priority 3 - possible improvements that could enhance the product
  • Priority 4 - experimental or doubtful improvements

Tasks are tackled in priority order, starting with Priority 1 and progressing through the list.

Explain the prioritization breakdown to the client and relate their requirements to each type. Once the client confirms the priorities align with their business goals, proceed with planning and development.


Testing matters. Releasing a product without proper testing is like signing its death sentence.

Here’s why:
  • Without testing, there will likely be a plethora of bugs, which can ruin the user experience and damage the product's reputation.
How to fix: 

Implement testing as early as possible, ideally starting at the requirements stage. While analysts and developers focus on finding the right solution, testers bring a different perspective by looking for ways to break the feature. This helps identify potential issues early on.

During development, testers play a crucial role in speeding up the process through parallel testing. As soon as a developer completes a task, it's handed over to the tester while the developer moves on to the next task.

We use automated testing on our projects. After a task is completed, the developer tests it in the development environment. Then, the task is moved to the testing environment where testers thoroughly check for any issues. If everything works as expected, the task is then sent to the demo environment.


Properly planned architecture helps to avoid unseen problems in the early stages of development: bugs, scalability issues, and difficulties with maintenance and updates. Addressing these issues during the architectural phase is far more cost-effective than fixing them later when the product is nearly complete.

Problems due to bad architecture:
  • Adding new features and changes often leads to bugs and issues
  • The system becomes increasingly challenging to maintain
How to fix: 

If the architecture is flawed from the start, it's difficult and expensive to overhaul once development is underway. For startups, it may be best to release the product as is, and then plan for a more robust architecture in version 2.0 if the product proves successful.

To prevent bad architecture, we employ a "secure architecture" approach. We plan and document the intended architecture, then present it to experienced developers who aren't part of the development team. They provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. Even after this review, the team further refines the architecture before proceeding with development. This process minimizes the risk of incorrect implementation and ensures a solid foundation for the project.

To sum up

Exceeding the budget on a project can stem from various factors. Each project is unique and requires a personalized approach. 

Facing similar difficulties with your software project? We offer you a free system audit with a detailed report and recommendations to resolve the issues.

Contact us or book a quick call to get started

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